Life after cheese!

Yes, there is life after cheese!

That’s the answer to the question I get all the time “how would I live without my cheese?”

So let me get right to the point.  If you are new to this blog, or haven’t heard many of my nutritional theories, or if you’ve been living on Mars, then this might come as a shock, so brace yourself:

Cheese and ALL dairy products are NOT good for you.  They should NOT be part of your diet.  In fact, avoiding dairy products will probably be the single most important decision you make to improve your health.

People get shocked when they hear me say that.  What kind of nutritionist says this stuff?  We’ve always known dairy products to be good for health! My mother forced me to drink milk growing up! My doctor told me to have dairy for my bones!  I make sure my kids have cheese and yoghurt every day!

Let me tell you, these are all valid points, but the truth is that thay are not entirely accurate.  Dairy products are not as angelic as ‘health experts’ make them seem…

I’ll tell you why, BUT I will ask you for a favour.  Please do not make any counter arguments until you’ve avoided all dairy products for at least 2 weeks and seen what effect that has on your health.  Once you’ve done that, we’ll talk 🙂

The reason I say that is because I know what it’s like to be very attached to dairy products.  In fact, I was the biggest cheese addict in the world.  I would get uncomfortable just thinking about living without it.  And then as I gradually cut it out, my life changed completely!

But why?  The 7 Deadly secrets..

Since I can’t spend all day blogging about dairy (as much as I would love to), I will give you an outline of the many reasons why you should stop.  I highly recommend you look into each topic yourself and research it further until it makes sense to you.  Here are some of the biggies:

1) Hormone overload – Cheese and dairy products are LOADED with hormones.  Hormones that come naturally from the cow (to grow its calf), and hormones injected by the farmers to make the cows produce more milk.  If you consume dairy products, these hormones go directly to you and they mess up your own hormone balance.  When your hormones are messed up, you are more likely to gain weight, get acne, have fertility issues, less muscle tone and flabby fat, facial hair (in women), PCOS and endometriosis (in women), early puberty (in kids), and even some types of cancer (namely uterine, breast, and prostate cancers).  If you don’t want hormonal problems, why are you consuming all these extra hormones?

2) Mucus bonanza – it is said that opera singers never have milk or dairy products before a perfomance.  You know why?  It gives them mucus and creates a very ugly ‘voice bubble’!  The same with the rest of us.  We are consuming milk and cheese on a daily basis and then wonder why everyone is so congested and sniffly.  Kids are getting one ear infection after another; sinus blocks are all over the place… and snoring!  If you want to get rid of all that mucus stuffed up in your sinus and voice box, just stop consuming dairy products for a couple of weeks.  You won’t believe me until you’ve tried it.  And for kids, please spare them the extra phlegm.  What they really need is calcium, not mucus, and I’ll tell you how to give them better sources of calcium below.

3) Allergy shmallergy – if you think you have a dairy allergy, you’re not alone.  So many people do. Why? Maybe it’s your body’s way of telling you it doesn’t want that stuff!! But you keep loading it on! Some people don’t have a full-blown allergy to dairy but more of a sensitivity which gives them very subtle symptoms such as headaches, fatigue, lethargy, skin rashes, dark circles under the eyes, and much more… these people will usually blame their symptoms on everything else except the dairy cuz ‘it can’t be the cheese!’.  But guess what, it can!  And it probably is.  A huge number of people are reacting to dairy products without even knowing it.  And worse yet, we have national campaigns that make people think they need it.  These campaigns are for marketing purposes, not health.  Don’t just take my word for it, look it up yourself – or better yet, try it yourself – you’ll be amazed.

4) Addiction more powerful than heroin – you know why cheese and dairy is addictive?  Because it is made for the baby calf that has to be attached to its mother so that it doesn’t go astray.  It keeps following its mother to get more of that addictive substance called milk.  And, in a way, we do the same.  I’ve been there myself.  The protein in dairy – casein – is not very well digested so it enters the bloodstream in the form of a drug, making you come back for more.  If you think you’re not addicted to cheese, yoghurt, milk, cream, etc.  just try taking it completely out of your diet for 2 weeks, you’ll know by the cravings!  Once you admit you’re an addict, you can then admit that it’s also causing many of your health problems, and you can then be on your way to recovery.  See the quick recovery tips below.

5) Bloating – if you’ve ever been bloated, you’ll know it feels horrible (and it makes you look fat!).  My bloating stopped almost the same instant I stopped dairy products.  And yours will too.  The mucus caused by the dairy products coats that intestinal tract, making it difficult for nutrients to get through, the lactose (milk sugar) creates extra wind when its digested by your gut bacteria, and all that undigested protein casein makes a mess of the whole process!  And you’re left with either bloating, diarrhoea, constipation, rectal itching, or a bit of each!  Is your cheese really worth all that?  If you answered yes, see point 4.

6) Toxins and puss – in that milk and cheese that you’re having is loads of toxins, depending on what the cow has been eating.  And guess what, cows today are eating sprayed grass, other animal parts, insects, and probably loads of other interesting stuff. Moreover, they are given MANY antibiotics to treat – or prevent – mastitis  (infection of the udders –  which is very common by the way).  And, most interesting, all those udder infections create puss and blood that goes directly into the milk. How do they get rid of it?  They don’t. They don’t take the puss and blood out, they just heat (pasteurise) it so you don’t get ‘affected’ by it.  Did you know that the amount of FDA-approved puss in milk is 40%!  Would you drink something that is 40% puss??  Uggghh.

7) BS nutrients – you know that whole argument about milk being great for you because it contain nutrients, enzymes, etc.?  That is total BS because if you put anything under the extreme pasteurisation and homogenisation process that dairy products go through, it won’t survive.  What you’re drinking is milk that probably had some of these elements at some point, but these were long pasteurised to death by the time you put in your fridge!

I can keep going but I’ll stop here to address some other issues….

What about the calcium?

We eat dairy products for calcium right?  Well, what if I told you that I have a much better source of calcium..

Dairy products, although rich in calcium, have small amounts of magnesium.  The two must be together in the correct ratios for calcium to be absorbed into the bones.  They come together wonderfully in some of nature’s simplest foods.  Some great sources of calcium/magnesium include dark green leafy vegetables, nuts and seeds, and chickpeas!

How do I switch?

In order to wean yourself off dairy products, you have to remember that:

  • It takes time.  It took me about 2 years of gradually being aware of the amount of dairy in my diet and slowly cutting down as I find replacements
  • It’s important to educate yourself.  If you’re not protected with all the information you need, then one dairy campaign will switch you right back.  You have to be convinced.  I’m not trying to convince you, I’m trying to make you see the logic so that you can make your own decisions.  Two easy places to start are the notmilk website and a funny book called Skinny Bitch
    which can put anyone off dairy products (just read the dairy chapter).
  • Dairy campaigns are heavily funded.  Every ad campaign has $$$ behind it, usually not your health in mind.  Dairy manufacturers also tend to sponsor research that proves whatever they want you to believe.  Have you ever wondered why animals don’t drink milk past the weaning age?  Cuz we don’t need it!!

Quick recovery tips

If you’ve survived this far into this blog post, then you’re almost there and I guarantee you that you’ll feel much better without dairy products… Here’s where you can start:

  • Start by noting down all the different dairy products that you have in your day.  Cheese, milk, cream, butter, labna, laban, yoghurt, etc.
  • Start finding replacements for these before you throw them out of your fridge.  For example, replace milk with home-made almond milk and replace cheese with hummus or ‘pinky sauce‘.
  • If you’re in a restaurant or ordering from a cafe, go for dairy-free options.  This can be slightly challenging at first because you’d be so used to ordering your ‘favourite’ sandwich or something.  But you’ll soon figure out how to order dairy-free and still be happy 🙂
  • Don’t tell anyone about what you’re doing… people have this unbelievable tendency to want to jeopardise others’ efforts.  You don’t need to prove anything to anyone, just try it on yourself for a while – in silence.
  • Note down the changes that you notice in your health.  And let me know about them in the comment section on this blog!

two interviews you must listen to

My Interviews with the ‘NOT MILKMAN’ himself – Robert Cohen

Why Are You Still Drinking Milk?


Life After Chese


If you are already dairy-free or you have recently made the switch, then we would love to hear about your story and what you do for alternatives

If you are a cheese or dairy-addict, I’d love to hear from you too!!  Tell me what goes on in your head when you think about cheese 🙂

If you are just confused and don’t know what to believe anymore, then drop me a line too!

Click on the ‘leave a comment’ button on the bottom of this post

Here are some other places you could go to for more information:

Recent Arabic articles in AlWaqt newspaper

Books: Skinny Bitch
& Your Life in Your Hands: Understand, Prevent and Overcome Breast Cancer and Ovarian Cancer

My YouTube videos explaining all this stuff

My recent book I WANT HEALTHY KIDS which has a whole dedicated chapter on this topic to teach you how to do it for yourself and your whole family

And stay tuned to this blog for more recipes and ideas.  For now, you can see use these recipes 🙂

And if you haven’t done so already, sign up on my website to get the latest in health – always


44 responses to “Life after cheese!

  1. “That is total BS ”

    Alia-you are hilarious! I love your frankness!!! I have to tell you- cheese has been hard to avoid here in Europe…the DUthc cheese is SO good and we can go right to the farms where it is made. Still, it is a VERY minimal part of our diet. Keep chiming on!!

  2. I recently gave up all dairy products, on the advice of my doctor – and one great benefit has been that my skin is looking really clear! I used to drink a lot of milk; the only substitution I have made is to use soymilk in my tea, and I have just adapted my diet otherwise.

  3. does this apply to aged yellow cheeses as well?
    (i hope the answer is no!)

  4. Enjoy your life your ganna die of something at some point. the amount of time you waste worrying about and cutting out food from your diet could have been spent on a more productive life. As with anything moderation is key nothing is significantly detrimental to health when consumed in moderation.

    Stay scared of food and develop a condition see how healthy you feel then.

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  6. From what I understand, the main argument against dairy products is that the rearing practices of cows and that the hormones injected in them makes our milk unhealthy. My question is what about organic hormone free milk? Is that bad for you too? And what about cheese made from raw milk?

    • You raise some very good questions.
      To briefly answer your questions:
      – Yes, the main argument is against the rearing practices.
      – However, the main reason the cow produces milk in the first place is to feed its offspring, so its milk has growth hormones anyway to grow a calf into a cow. All milk (including human milk) has hormones which are unnecessary for adults.
      – Hormone free milk is becoming more popular in the US, however there are no tests to prove that the milk is hormone-free (so you just have to take the farmers’ word for it). And, as stated above, there are natural hormones in all milk which you can’t get rid of (hormone-free only means that the cows have not been injected with extra hormones).
      – Cheese made from raw milk will have all the hormones, antibiotics, etc. (plus some bacteria and viruses because it’s unpasteurised). There are a lot of people who are pro raw milk/cheese. I would not recommend it however because E.Coli and various other pathogens are very common in raw dairy products.

      Hope this helps..

  7. Hi Alia
    Thanking you for sharing this valuable info ,,
    In my clinic I share this info with a patient at atime (facing raised Eye brows everyday without fail)…you went a step further and shared it with the public.. just hope some of my pt stumble upon it
    great work
    Dr Abdulla Al Banna, CAM specialist BDF Hospital
    (MD, ND, Masters of Phytotherapy)

  8. Hi Alia

    What about Laban (The sour Milk) is it bada too?

  9. Dear Alia,

    I visited your web site. thanks a lot for sharing these valuable information to the public. Let people be aware of these things.

  10. hi alia,thanks for sharing good info.just one question:isnt laban same as live far as i know live youghurt is a rich source of healthy bacteria,almost lactose free and is excellent for health for its probiotics related anti-aging benifits.

  11. hi i just have a question what to give newborns up to 12months of age if u cant breastfeed what are the other options?

  12. thats really gonna be difficult .. when i think about cheese .. i think about the salt .. i think about the burgers that can’t be eaten with with no cheese .. i think about the coffee that can’t be drunk with no milk ..
    i ain’t saying i’m the fittest guy .. but i try my best to switch to healthier choices

  13. Thanks for getting the truth out. We need more websites like this one! My body has been transformed inside and out by eliminating animal products from diet. I have never felt or looked better in my life! And I love to cook even more now with whole plant foods. It is so wonderful!

  14. Dear Alia, I am convinced that my 6 yr old daughter is allergic to dairy products esp because she is always sick with a runny nose and allergies and snoring! I switched to homeopathy and that did good for a while until I stopped. However, she is completely hooked on Al Marai’s cheese spread and cheese etc. It is the only thing she eats. I tried giving her hummus as you said, but she ate it once and we had crying fits at home. After she lost a few kgs my husband said to me to just deal with the allergies and keep giving her milk/milk products.

    I just read about your Almond Milk recipe. I am going to immediately try it. Just need to put all the stuff together like cloth and sieve etc..

    Once again, thank you SSOOO much for all the valuable information you share. Please don’t get put off or discouraged by people who don’t agree with you.. YOU ARE DOING A GREAT JOB ALWAYS. Thanks a ton, Love, L

  15. I appreciate the determination you put into this “anti-dairy” campaign of yours.

    However, I have yet to see any scientific facts that support your arguments. I’d love to see some authentic research findings.

    Here are a few of my arguments:

    -Casein clotting in the stomache is actually a good thing! The ability to form this clot makes it very efficient in nutrient supply. The clot is able to provide a sustained slow release of amino acids into the blood stream, sometimes lasting for several hours! Makes it especially good for building muscle!

    -Another problem I have with your article is Almond Milk. It may be a good thing if you are trying to lose weight or trying to be vegan, but in terms of nutritional value (and you should know this!), Cows milk has around 300mg of calcium, while Almond has a mere 2mg (bring on the osteoporosis!). Your solution, chickpeas, barley have 80mg per cup. Need I remind you that kids need to consume between 900-1300mg of calcium per day? I wouldn’t exactly call drinking 700 cups of almond per day a “solution”

    -Also again, There is no scientific research showing that milk produces mucus in the airways or the throat. A well written paragraph doesn’t count as scientific research.

    – Based on a research by The Centre for Muscle Metabolism and Biophysics, Faculty of Applied Health Sciences, Brock University. Bovine milk can actually work as an amazing post-work out drink as it greatly increases protein metabolism.

    Until you provide me with cold, hard, indisputable, scientific facts.. I would have no reason to accept such arguments. Now if you’ll excuse me, I need to go enjoy my glass of warm milk.

    • I didn’t need scientific facts, experience works for me.

      Without magnesium the body robs your bones of calcium. More calcium doesn’t help without the proper balance of magnesium.

  16. My daughter is less prone to colds and coughs after I stopped cow’s milk. I am aware of the Calcium deficit and give her Mr. Tummee chewables alongwith the Almond Milk and Goats Milk. In the old days, when cows were not fed all kinds of chemical infested food, we had pure milk. Now, I don’t trust that it is real cows milk at all. Some people are definitely allergic to cows milk. It also affects their nature and character, considering that they are inconvenienced with having to deal with a cold 365 days a year. Now she is happier and thoroughly enjoys her Almond choc shake or Rose Almond milk followed by a yummy chewy Calcium candy.
    For every comment, there will be arguments. Its upto you Khalid whether to follow or not. A mothers instinct and your own instinct is what tells you whats right for you or not. What works for me, may not work for others. It is interesting to read and share information which could help others. And that is just what Alia is doing.
    However, I personally have always been a milk drinker and have had no issues with it. Still have a cool glass when I feel like it. So, cheers!

  17. I agree with this whole blog on dairy! I have been vegan for almost 2 weeks now and I suffer from IBS and had so since childhood (i am 27 now) and since I cut out dairy my tummy issues have done a complete 180! I feel so much cleaner and lighter! No more issues with my digestive track after eating! I thought my like would suck after cutting out the cheese, meat was never that big of a deal to me, but cheese was a staple like bread! I love pasta so much and cheese goes hand and hand! I thought I would never be able to give up mac and cheese, but when I think about the constipation, bloating, cramping etc. it is so not worth it. I am over the diary industry. I only eat whole foods now and I do not feel deprived. When you develop the habit of eating out and buying frozen meals, you start to think everything HAS to have globs of cheese and meat in it. But the truth is there are a slew of healthy delicious recipes out there that do not require dairy or they can be easily substituted with nondairy products.

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  19. Hi Alia,
    It has been 3 days now that I am off dairy products.. I must say.. It is a VERY difficult experience!!
    I am realizing now how much I am addicted to cheese!!
    When I think about what to have for breakfast or lunch (I do not usually have dinner) .. cheese is the first thing that pops up on mind! In a sandwich.. with biscuits.. with pasta.. in a pizza.. with salad.. with jacket potatoes.. with burgers.. Ahh.. sometimes it just drives me crazy!
    I suggest that anyone who would like to try to be off dairy products for 2 weeks should go on serious fruit and vegetable shopping before hand!
    It is harder for me I suppose because I do not like vegetables! (only carrots, cucumbers and potatoes)!
    Well no changes so far in terms of health.. but it is too early to judge.. so I am not giving up! 🙂

  20. O.k I’ve given up gluten because I was intolerant…lot’s of gas. Wasn’t a big dairy consumer to begin with however, I love hummus but it too makes sooooo much gas for me! Any suggestions? Beano doesn’t help.

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  23. But what about drinking al-marai lactose free milk!

  24. I have been trying like crazy to leave dairy behind — it completely screws up my plumbing and the signs that I’m allergic are obvious. But one facet of allergy is cravings for the food you’re allergic to, and I have trouble putting together more than 3 or 4 dairy-free days before I relax my guard and eat something that has butter in it, or milk. DAMN! Any time I bake, I use almond or coconut milk and an olive-oil butter substitute, but my real downfall is when I eat away from home (as I often must). Gets me every time.

    The calcium-for-bones argument, by the way, is overrated. You can get calcium from other sources than dairy (GREENS!!!), AND if you make sure you’re absorbing it well (by getting magnesium and vitamin D, and especially vitamin K2), you really don’t need dairy to supply it.

  25. The ability to digest milk as adults is a 10,000 year old mutation among white people. The majority of non-whites cannot digest milk as adults. Mammals in nature do not drink milk as adults. The only milk people need comes from their mother’s breasts.

    Americans consume more calcium than people in other countries, but have more osteoporosis. Consuming dairy causes people to urinate out more calcium than this food gives them. See the osteoporisis article on my Twitter feed for full explanation. PubMed says consuming more calcium does not help with osteoporosis.

    What you say about the bovine growth hormone that is added to cows to fatten them up and give more milk is opinion. The meat and dairy industry disagree with this opinion. Here are facts. This growth hormone is illegal in all other developed countries other than the U.S. including the 27 countries of the European Union, Canada, Australia and Japan.

  26. Hello Alia, thanks for the blog. I have a question (the same as “masters” question) what about yoghurt?

    “thanks for sharing good info.just one question:isnt laban same as live far as i know live yoghurt is a rich source of healthy bacteria,almost lactose free and is excellent for health for its probiotics related anti-aging benifits.”

    Please let us know! Soy milk is not a good alternative for tea, and itself contains estrogen hormones I don’t want to feed my husband.

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  29. I am dairy free since 2006 when I suffered from Uterus Fibroid and Endometriosis. The doctors diagnosed me for a surgery. But, when I read about fibroid and endometriosis, I found out that the main reason for that is the style life and the food especially the diary products. Immediacy I changed my food, no dairy products. I feel better and no complication, Al Hamdullilah.

    However, my iron come down as my Hemoglobin is low (9). How can I recover my iron. what about Camel milk? from the farm? is that OK.
    What about meat from the farm? Is that OK.



    • Eat more greens. I’m vegan and my iron levels are great. You might have something in your diet that is blocking your absorption of iron. I’d check with a holistic doctor. You don’t have to eat meat or drink any animal milk to get iron.

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  32. great article 🙂 dairy is the only thing that i think is to blame for my acne…you have given me hope!

  33. Is there a non dairy cheese sold in bahrain? If yes, do you know where I can find it?

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